The ADL has published a hit piece on Ron Unz. The article is dated Jan 20, 2014. My attention was drawn to it by this condensed version which appeared on their blog today (Jan 23, 2014). The article refrains from calling Unz personally anti-Semitic, but states “he provides support to extreme anti-Israel ideologues and his writings resonate with and are regularly cited by anti-Semites.” Curiously, the article does not mention that UNZ IS JEWISH, which seems a relevant piece of information in an article accusing him of giving safe harbor to anti-Semites. Of note, the article does outright call Paul Craig Roberts an anti-Semite.
Walter has already commented below on Mark Shea’s recent PC rant against the Dark Enlightenment. Shea’s post is a virtually content free denunciation of wrongthink, but I want to comment on one of the comments. That comment is by Jordan Bloom, and is an eminently sensible response to Shea’s rant. What stands out about it is that Jordan Bloom (or J. Arthur Bloom) is the same guy who recently wrote a hit piece against Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute for the Daily Caller. We discussed that hit piece here. I replied to Jordan in the comments. I should have replied specifically to his comment, but I wasn’t thinking at the time and just commented in general, so who knows if I he has seen it. So what gives? Does Jordan oppose PC denunciations of wrongthink, or does he engage in them? Will the real Jordan Bloom please stand up.
On a related topic: I was recently shocked to discover D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation on Netflix Instant Video. Funny how that movie makes the cut, but we’ll never see Gone With the Wind, It’s a Joke, Son!, and Song of the South on Instant Video. Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings backs mass illegal immigration after all.
HT: “Sam” from James Edwards’s blog comments for video.
Every year in the days leading up to the MLK Holiday, we are subjected to the absurd spectacle of mainstream and other neutered conservatives attempting to claim that MLK was one of our own. This rant is occasioned by several such posts I have seen today on FaceBook. I don’t know whether this is more pathetic or transparent, but it is clearly both. Anyone with any intellectual honesty at all should be able to see through this foolish narrative. It is rank historical revisionism, and I highly suspect that most of the people who do it know this. It certainly does not fool liberals who mock us for it. The only people it seems to fool is the mainstream conservative masses who lap it up. “See, we’re not the racists. It’s those evil Democrats who are the racists.” But I’m not convinced that even most of those folks believe it. It is simply a narrative thay can latch on to to innoculate themselves against charges of wrongthink, and think they can get the better of liberals in a debate.
MLK was a man of the left. This is not debatable. It is a fact. King is sometimes accused of being a communist (either big C or little c) by his opponents who have yet to sell out. While King was never, as far as we know, a Communist, he surrounded himself with Communists, addressed Communist front organizations, and attended a Communist front training facility (the Highlander Folk School). As I said with regard to Nelson Mandela, I don’t really like communist (big C or little c) as an epithet so I don’ necessarily hold his associations against him per se. MLK was a far leftist by the standards of his day and such people were bound to interact with Communists because that was the far left milieu at the time. But his associations with Communists and other radical leftists does contextualize who he was in his time. He is never accused of being a secret McCarthyite, for example, because that is not the milieu he traveled in. This was obvious and taken for granted by people at the time. Conservative voices like National Review and Human Events had no problem placing King on the left in his day. Attempts by conservatives striving to prove they are not politically incorrect to appropriate King and his legacy is a relatively recent phenomenon, and only passes the laugh test because enough time has passed and people forget their history.
The narrative goes something like this: King was allegedly a Republican. It was Republicans who were largely responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and mean nasty ol’ Southern Democrats who opposed it. If they’re really laying it on thick, they’ll cite Lincoln freeing the slaves and how blacks voted Republican during Reconstruction and for decades beyond. Since the Republican Party is supposedly the conservative party today, ipso facto, King was a conservative. While this is all technically true up to the assertion at the end, it is meaningless.
First of all, it is not even true that King was a Republican even thought this is widely asserted by the craven cons. See here for example. For the sake of brevity, I’ll let the link speak for itself, which it does, although I’ll take up Kings’ opposition to Barry Goldwater below.
That said, yes, it was Southern Democrats along with self-identified conservative (that should tell you something) Republicans like Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley who opposed the Civil Rights Acts, but Southern Democrats and self-consciously conservative Republicans were the conservative element of the day. It was liberal Democrats and liberal Republicans who supported it. Some free-market and small government conservatives will protest that Southern Democrats couldn’t have been the conservative element of the time because they openly loved their pork, which is true, but again largely irrelevant to the point at hand. (A lot of modern conservative Republicans love their pork too, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, but that is for another post.) The two parties have not always been aligned as they are today. The division of the two parties along perceived left vs. right lines was just beginning in King’s day as was the transformation of both parties, which is what makes this all more confusing than it ought to be.
Historically we have traditionally had two parties that were organized around the perceived commonality of interests of a rather diverse coalition of forces. The Republicans were the Court Party and the Democrats were the Country Party, so to speak, and whatever ideological considerations there were were primarily a pretext for self-interest. Since the 60′s, the parties have largely switched roles and taken on the left vs. right dichotomy. White Southerners have migrated to the GOP and blacks have migrated to the Democrat Party, the latter a phenomenon that started with FDR and the New Deal. Now why and how this happened deserves a discussion of its own, but happen it did and racial issues clearly had a lot to do with it. To pretend otherwise, as the PC cons do, is to be willfully ignorant.
The PC preening conservatives sit on their high horses and bash those bad ol’ Southern Democrats, but demographically speaking those old Southern Democrats and their progeny are the modern base of the GOP and they know it, although they may pretend not to. Five Deep South states, including my own state of Georgia, broke the strangle hold that Democrats had had on the “Solid South” when they voted for Goldwater in ’64, largely based on Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act. Did, the alleged Mr. Republican Martin Luther King support Goldwater in ’64? Inconveniently for the PC cons’ tidy little narrative, no he did not. See the link in paragraph 4 above. Most of those same states, again including my own state of Georgia, voted for George Wallace four years later in 1968. This gradual transition of the South from a Democrat to a Republican bastion was seen up through the Clinton elections. That transition is now complete. (And potentially being reversed again due to other demographic forces.)
Do the PC grandstanders assert that all these suddenly enlightened white Southerners who now dutifully pull the lever for Republicans are actually all transplants from the North and Midwest who have demographically displaced those mean nasty ol’ racist Southern Democrats who continue to remain a small remnant of the Democrat Party? In fact, the opposite is the case. It is the migration of liberal whites (along with immigrants) into the South that has made states like North Carolina turn purple. Who were the whites in North Carolina who pulled the lever for Obama in 2008 that gave the state to him? Was it the old Southern Democrat remnant? That is absurd on its face, and again the grandstanders know it. When they bash those mean ol’ racist Southern Democrats, they are bashing their own demographic base. But I guess scoring PC brownie points is more important to them than honor and intellectual honesty.
Regardless of what someone may think about Martin Luther King and his legacy, he was not a man of the right and to argue that he was is intellectually discrediting. The PC cons should just be honest and admit that they have turned over their intellectual man card to the Cultural Marxist Division of PC Rightthink Enforcement, and spare us all, left and right, their farcical historical revisionism.
Addendum: I understand why some conservatives might want to sit out the MLK debate in order to not bring the PC rightthink enforcement apparatus down on their heads. I think it’s weak, but I can understand it. But it is one thing to sit the debate out cautiously and another thing to join in the debate on the side of the Cultural Marxists. Even though their revisionism is obviously inaccurate, their regurgitation of it still feeds into the PC narrative and empowers the PC Beast. As I have said repeatedly, conservatives who feed the PC Beast are fools. They will never keep it from attempting to devour them and the civilization they say they want to conserve. They are contributing to their own demise. This is ultimately what I am decrying even more than the specifics of their MLK retelling.
Today is the birthday of a great man, Robert E. Lee, a man whose birthday used to be widely celebrated in the Southern states and beyond. Here is an excellent article from the vault on the politically correct attack on a true Southern hero and gentleman.
Here is a NY Post article that alleges that Phil Robertson isn’t too fond of the Confederate Battle Flag. In the typical PC manner, it suggests that this is somehow evidence that Robertson is not a “racist.” You see, according to PC rightthink, respect for the Confederate Battle Flag is prima facia evidence that someone is a racist. The story is from 30 Dec, but I didn’t hear about it until a comment about it appeared recently on my FaceBook feed. And interestingly, when I Googled to find some more commentary on the issue not much came up. This mention from a blog called The “Right” Scoop seems to accept the PC association in a “See, we told you Phil Robertson wasn’t a racist!” type of manner. (This is so typical of mainstream conservatives to accept the leftists’ PC framing of an issue.)
First of all, proud Southerners should be careful not to get too carried away just yet. This is an account of someone relating what he thinks he saw and heard. These are not Robertson’s own words, and as far as I know he has not commented on the issue. It is possible that he was bemoaning the fact that certain unsavory elements have used the flag for their own purposes, but this is not the conclusion the senario the witness recounts suggests. Mr. Robertson needs to publically clarify his true feelings.
That said, if this is a true recounting of the event, then it is very disappointing. Robertson is old enough to know better, so he doesn’t have the excuse of youth. The modern demonization of the Confederate Battle Flag (CBF) is a relatively recent phenomenon, and Mr. Robertson should know this. The Duke boys proudly sported a CBF on the roof of their car, named the General Lee, on prime time TV in the 80′s. Until fairly recently it was assumed that Southerners would be proud of their heritage. This relentless PC/Cultural Marxist attack on all things Southern is of relatively recent vintage. For some perspective on this, this artcle by Prof. Clyde Wilson should be read again and again. I wish Phil Robertson would read it.
There is a lesson here that conservative (and especially conservative Christian) Southerners who wish to distance themselves from the CBF lest they be tainted desperately need to learn. The PC beast is monolithic in it’s desire to eradicate every stray unegalitarian thought or at least the public expression thereof. (It is my belief that the mind of the typical PC stormtrooper is besieged by unegalitarian thoughts, and their PC shock troop role playing is a form of reaction formation, but that is for another post.). The PC beast is without nuance or subtlety. It doesn’t matter to it that Mr. Robertson’s thoughts on homosexuality are based on his acceptance of the long held historic teachings of the Christian faith and his belief that God has explicitly condemned the act in His Holy Word. Nope. The senior Robertson has committed wrongthink and must be condemned and re-educated. The same article that says Robertson might not be a racist, begins by saying “Phil Robertson may be homophobic…,” whatever that means. (A more absurdly silly term than homo”phobia” is hard to imagine.)
Conservative (as in traditional/orthodox [small o] more so than political) Christians who wish to maintain the inherently unegalitarian teachings of their faith such as the condemnation of homosexuality and various other sexual practices, the endorsement of gender roles, Jesus as the only means of salvation, etc. need to resist the PC beast with every fiber of their being. It can not be placated by throwing it sops such as distancing yourself from the CBF. Robertson, if this was his motive, whether thought out or visceral, for his comment on the CBF, is woefully niave to believe so. If you are a wrongthinker on any issue, you are a wrongthinker in toto. There is no middle ground with this mindless beast. The fight for the CBF very much is the fight for a Christian understanding of homosexuality. The two can not be disentangled.
This is not to say that traditionalist Christians should not denounce malice and ill will based on race, which is not a Christian attitude, but racism has long since ceased meaning just malice or ill will based on race if it ever did. It means any unegalitarian thought. Conservative Christians need to understand this and understand it quickly, lest they empower the beast that ends up eating them and the civilization they created alive.
The Tiger Mom is coming out with a new book. This should be fun.
Her latest book, “The Triple Package,” deems eight cultural groups in America as being superior to others. And, though the book is not due out until February, Twitter criticisms are already flying, with many calling Chua “racist” and a self-promoter.
But the reality, notes the book, co-written by Chua’s husband and fellow Yale professor Jed Rubenfeld, is that “uncomfortable as it may be to talk about,” some “religious, ethnic, and national-origin groups are starkly more successful than others.” Those groups, according to the authors, are Mormons, Cuban exiles, Nigerian Americans, Indian Americans, Chinese Americans, American Jews, Iranian Americans and Lebanese Americans. And the reasons they excel, the book notes, is because of a basic “triple package” formula: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.
I’m not totally down with the whole Tiger Mom thing. Some of it seems to me driven by the mother’s or parents’ own needs as much as concern for the kids. (Like the frustrated athlete father who pushes his kid in Little League or the cliched gym/dance/beauty pageant/piano/etc. moms.) But in moderation, the Tiger Moms are probably on to something. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, you knew the racist charge was coming. Whenever you deal with differential performance between groups, the haters will always start flinging the r word.
Great news from Oklahoma! The self-appointed censors who shut down the American Renaissance 2010 conference just got their knuckles rapped:
On August 8, 2011, David Yeagley of Oklahoma filed suit against Jeffrey Imm and Daryle Lamont Jenkins in the District Court of Oklahoma County of Oklahoma for allegedly civilly conspiring and tortiously interfering with his contract to speak at the New Century Foundation’s American Renaissance February 2010 conference. …
Yeagley’s motion for summary judgment was filed on December 3, 2013, and Jenkins did not file a responsive brief to it. During the morning of January 3, 2014, a hearing on the motion occurred, and the judge granted it: Jenkins has been ordered by a court of law to pay Yeagley $50,000.00 for shutting down the 2010 American Renaissance conference.
Hurrah for David Yeagley! Check out his website here.
It looks like A & E and the gay Gestapo just got punked. A & E is hiring Phil Robertson back. It looks like they picked the low news cycle of Friday evening to announce it. I predict the first episode of the new season will be HUGE. I’m going to watch it, and I probably would not have before.
Jim Goad at TakiMag is his usual irreverent self.
Clearly the Christian Bible preaches that “men who have sex with men” will not go to heaven. Despite what the Lavender Lobby and the Gay Mafia and the Homo Militia and their rainbow coalition of allies and enablers and apologists would have you believe, homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Quran. None of the three major Western monotheistic religions is down with the idea of men going down on other men. So you can either be a faithful adherent to one of these religions, or you can have sex with persons of your own gender—pick one and stick to it. But you can’t have both. Hey, I don’t make the rules—I only report them.
Cracker Barrel thought they would get out in front of the Phil Robertson controversy and be the first to officially ban Duck Dynasty items from their stores.
Hmmm …? Cracker Barrel? What could they have possibly been thinking? Who does Cracker Barrel thinks eats there, urban hipsters and metrosexuals? (Maybe urban hipsters eat there to be “ironic.”) I thought Cracker Barrel was known as a Republican leaning company. I could have told you this wouldn’t end well for them, and it hasn’t. Now after a major outcry, they have returned Duck Dynasty items to their stores.
Update: Rod Dreher comments on the Cracker Barrel incident here. His thoughts are the same as mine. Does corporate Cracker Barrel know who eats at Cracker Barrel?
Phil Robertson is refusing to back down. Here are a couple of links.
Gary DeMar says good for Phil.
I missed this announcement, but apparently Sunday was Wear Camo to Church Sunday to show support of Robertson.
For the record, I don’t routinely watch Duck Dynasty. I watched it a couple of time just to see what all the fuss was about, but I don’t like reality TV in general, and to me much of DD seemed obviously staged. But I do think it is good that there is a show that portrays a Southern Christian family in a largely positive way. If Phil is rehired and DD returns to A&E then I watch it. If it moves to another channel, then I’ll watch it, just to show support.
Update: The Robertson family is sticking by Phil. If A&E doesn’t back down, DUck Dynasty may be done.
Update II: Aaron Wolfe at Chronicles chimes in.
LEAGUE OF THE SOUTH NEWS SERVICE
19 December 2013
Re: Phil Robertson and A&E
For Immediate Release
The League of the South, the premier Southern Nationalist organization, supports Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty in his Biblical condemnation of sodomy. Moreover, we encourage our members and supporters to boycott the A&E Channel and their advertisers until they issue a sincere apology to Mr. Robertson and end his suspension from the program.
League President Michael Hill said the following: “The executives at the A&E Channel have shown their contempt for Mr. Robertson’s right to speak the truth from God’s own word about the sordid nature of sodomy. This is merely one more incident that proves that the purveyors of American popular culture are committed to an anti-Christian and anti-Southern agenda of hatred and lies. We urge Southerners and others of good will to support Mr. Robertson and to let the A&E Channel know that they will not be watching Duck Dynasty or buying the products of their advertisers until this matter is rightly settled.”
The League of the South can be reached for further comment at (800) 888-3163 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at www.dixienet.org.
PC makes some people totally stupid. FOX News’ Megyn Kelly is in hot water because she said Santa Claus is white. Only in PC Land could such a statement be considered controversial. Because Santa Claus IS white. Of course I know that Santa isn’t real, and some are using this point to criticize Kelly, but this is just to cover their own foolishness. No one here is really faulting Kelly because they believe she thinks Santa is real. They are faulting her for insisting that the imaginary character of Santa is white. But we know Santa is white because, for one, he is based on Saint Nicholas who was white. A folk story like Santa Claus has a cultural context. It arises from somewhere and has a history that can be traced. Santa Claus has always been conceptualized as white because the story arose in Europe. It didn’t arise in China or Sub-Saharan Africa. If the story of Santa had arisen in Africa then he would be black. Kelly is supposed to address this controversy. This is so silly she shouldn’t dignify it with an apology. She should just state the obvious something like I do above, and shame the PC fools for their foolishness.
I plan a post with a series of links to articles from conservatives that are contrary to the current Mandela hagiography that we are witnessing in the wake of his passing, but I am having router problems and have had limited internet access the last few days, so that post is coming. In the meantime, I wanted to get this quick post up since the subject matter is right in our wheelhouse.
Newt Gingrich has criticized conservatives who have expressed contrary and politically incorrect views about Mandela. The generally paleo friendly James Antle has an article up at TAC that says Newt Gingrich is right. It doesn’t surprise me that TAC posted such an article. In fact, I was almost certain they would. I have been checking back regularly looking for one. I am a bit surprised that it is James Antle who wrote it, however. Antle usually walks a fine line between nuancing tricky issues on the one hand but without overtly embracing the PC side on the other. This article is not finessing a touchy subject. It is embracing the other side.
Antle makes a fair point that people need to be judged in context. I made that same point in my post below, when I said that I don’t necessarily condemn Mandela for being a (small c) communist per se. (Meaning he believed Marx was on to something with regard to economics.) There were a lot of small c communists in that time and place. I do hold it againts him that he was a member of a brutal Communist party (SACP) (which he lied about) and headed an organization that used and endorsed terrorism and brutality.
Again, as I said before, in the 80′s conservatives took for granted that Mandela and the ANC were the bad guys, so to speak, in this drama. Now, conservatives must sing pre-emptive praise for Mandela just to ward off charges of racism. This illustrate the ever tightening grip of political correctness on our culture and especially our political debate. This tigtening grip must be resisted on every front rather than acquiesed to. Whatever other criticism of Antle may be in order, I think he and people like him are missing the big picture. Their efforts to finesse these issues for what they see as the benefit of conservatism actually empowers the Zeitgeist even if there may be some merit to the finesse. Appearances are key here. If it might look like a cave to PC, you should think long and hard about whether it is worth it even if your motives might not be caving to PC.
Update: This morning I posted a comment at TAC that simply said “Et tu James? Et tu TAC?” It has yet to appear. My hunch is that it won’t appear because it’s been a while and several other comments have been approved since. Also, normally it will say “Your comment is awaiting moderation” before it is posted, but you can still see it. I can no longer see my own comment which suggests to me it has been deleted and not just neglected. If so, that’s weak. Censoring critical but non-vulgar or otherwise innappropriate comments is bush league. I have posted another comment that is a modification of my last paragraph above. Let’s see if that makes the cut.
Ted Cruz posted a tribute to Nelson Mandela on his Facebook account. Some of his supporters then expressed their displeasure. Now the PC Media thinks his supporters expressing displeasure is a news story. Here is what Cruz wrote:
“Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.”
First of all, regardless of what facts and opinions may be in dispute, Cruz’s post is gratuitous PC grandstanding. Best to say nothing at all because almost anything you say is going to appear to be PC placation, and the PC beast needs to be resisted and challenged, not placated. If you must say something then a simple Rest in Peace would do.
As the Daily Beast article linked above points out, US conservatives long took for granted that Mandela was the bad guy in this drama. (Of course the Daily Beast pointed this out as an indictment, not for educational purposes.) He was a Communist who headed a terrorist Communist organization. Now I believe people should be judged in the context of their time and situation. So I don’t much like Communist as an epithet. Mandela was a revolutionary, and African revolutionaries at that time were likely to be communists (big C or little c) because that was the milieu they were in. This is similar to the random pre-war German who is accused of being a Nazi. Well yeah, he might have been a Nazi, because a lot of pre-war Germans were Nazis. And a lot of the people who throw around the accusation would have been Nazis also if they had been Germans at the time just based on numbers alone. So I’m not crazy about communist as an simple epithet coming from rightist any more than I am Nazi as an epithet coming from leftist. That said, the fact that he was a Communist is not nothing either, and shouldn’t be swept under the rug the way the fawning media is doing. I hold against him that he was a member of an authoritarian and viscous Communist party more than I do the fact that he might have thought Marx was on to something.
But the fact that conservatives used to routinely criticize Mandela but now supposed conservative stars like Cruz feel it necessary to praise him says a lot about how oppressive the PC atmosphere has become.
Here is a tweet from Mike Church, a Constitutionalist radio host on Sirius/XM. (I don’t know how to post one of those pictures of a tweet, so this is just cut and pasted.)
Mike Church?@TheKingDude 26 Nov
The subjugation of @jackhunter74 aka The Southern Avenger is complete after Politico apologia & now http://www.southernavenger.com is shuttered
This is enlightening. I knew Mike Church was a strict Constitutionalist and advocated nullification and secession, but I didn’t know that he resists PC. This is good to know.
Here is a column by Alexander Hart on Jack Hunter’s recent Politico apology. Unfortunately, most of it is behind a paywall, but based on what you can view for free, he doesn’t think much of Jack’s attempt to re-enter polite mainstream con company. If anyone here is a premium member of VDARE, let us know the details.
Update: An old friend sent me the whole article. The article links to this PC movie review that Jack did prior to the Politico mea culpa.
Let me begin by saying that I have always liked Jack Hunter. I have only met Jack once at a Ron Paul event in Georgia, but I consider him a virtual friend. He is my Facebook friend. I was always especially fond of Jack because in addition to us both being Southern paleocons, we also shared a love of professional wrestling, especially of Ric Flair and the old NWA/Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS era. We also shared a fondness for old school action movies. Jack, while a few years younger than me, reminded me a lot of myself. He was an intelligent guy who talked about Kirk, defended the South and seemed to really get it politically, but also couldn’t get beyond his Southern, blue collar tastes. The combination of someone who could talk intelligently about Kirk and Weaver one minute and then be a geeked out fanboy of Ric Flair and Sylvester Stallone the next was rare. Most people who can do either, can only do one or the other. Very few can do both. Hence I always felt a kinship and familiarity with Jack that exceeded our actual familiarity. While I don’t know if Jack felt the same way, I know he knew who I was and that he was familiar with this website.
I have been aware of Jack’s Southern Avenger persona since well before he revealed his identity. In fact, I recall going on an internet snooping session at one point to see if I could figure out who he really was. (To no avail.) The reason I was curious to figure out his true identity is because he seemed so well versed in paleospeak that I figured he might be someone I was (virtually) familiar with. We frequently posted his videos on this site. Contrary to Jack’s protests that he was young and naive, part of the reason that I liked his commentaries so much was because he was very articulate and often threw in references to Kirk and others that seemed intended to established his paleo bona fides. They struck me as winks of a sort. His way of saying “I’m one of you” without wearing it on his sleeve.
So it was with dread that I read his “Confessions of s Right-Wing Shock Jock” which appeared yesterday at Politico. I knew before reading it that he was going to prostrate himself before the gods of political correctness begging forgiveness and seeking to be accepted back into polite company, and he did, as I expected, just that. No worse than what I expected but no better.
I don’t now dislike Jack. I’m not going to disown him. I’m not going to call him names. I’m not going to un-friend him. In fact, when this “scandal” first broke, I counseled others against attacking Jack personally. Since I do consider Jack a virtual friend, to now attack him would be disloyal. It’s also unhelpful. I will say that I’m disappointed that this is the way Jack has responded to the “revelations,” which as someone noted (David Weigel maybe?) when this first broke, had always been hiding in plain sight.
When this came out, Jack had two options. He could do what he did and is doing which is backtrack and denounce his past. Or he could defend what he said vigorously. As I pointed out at the time, nothing he said, taken alone, was all that scandalous. Everything he said was common amoung paleos and in many cases mainstream conservatives. He could have appologized for some of the way he put things – suggesting that Lincoln and Hitler would have been best of friends is a bit provocative – without apologizing for the substance. He could have said he had become more libertarian over time, without casting aspersions on his old belief systems. His backtracking didn’t save his job them, and I’m not sure it will get him back into polite company now. What I do know is that he has hurt the cause he once (maybe still?) supports by accepting the framing of the enemy that what he said was scandalous. It was not. What the system needs is not another generic libertarian. What the system needs is smart articulate people like Jack who aren’t afraid to defend authentic conservatism against the PC mobs whether they be liberal “anti-racists” or Lincoln idolizing neocon thought policers.
I don’t doubt that Jack over time has become more libertarian. The simplicity and reductionism of libertarianism is seductive and has a way of drawing in people who are around it. And while I never got the impresion that Jack was hostile to religion, I did sense that he wasn’t personally very religious, so the slide into libertarianism was likely easier for him than it is for religious socons. Also, I don’t doubt that Jack has become over time more politically pragmatic. Playing the political game tends to do that to people. I had noticed this myself as Jack became somewhat of the designated spokesman for the Ron Paul campaign against conspiracy theorists and no-compromise libertarians. Now whether this was a job Jack was asked to do because it was felt he had credibly with the proponents of these issues or if this was a cause he took upon himself, I don’t know. It is possible that realizing his own past put him in jeopardy, Jack was trying to establish his reasonable bona fides, but this is just speculation.
That conceded, his handling of the racial and Southern issues in the article struck me as completely craven. Jack sort of walks back his support of secession as a principle for example. The passage where he addresses it is confusing. Jack is a good writer and there was no need for the passage to be confusing. I think the passage reflects his own ambivalence. I suspect he felt he needed to say something that he didn’t really want to say. Jack is schooled enough in Southern conservatism and Rockwell style libertarianism to know that secession is on firm intellectual and historical grounds.
His framing of racial and immigration issues as largely matters of sensitivity was pretty pathetic. As I pointed out at the time, the shock quote that was trotted out in the original hit pieces that was supposed to be so damning regarding race, wasn’t shocking unless you’re a lefty PC hysteric or an easily PC intimidated cowardly conservative. It wasn’t pro-white racialism. It was a standard color-blind conservative denunciation of the racial double standard. Jack’s yammering on and on about the need for conservative sensitivity on racial issues per se and Southern issues in general is profoundly harmful because it gives aid and comfort to the enemy. It accepts their framing of the debate. When a PC hysteric points and sputters because you denounced Cultural Marxist double standards, the way to respond is not, “Oh I’m so sorry. I’ll be more sensitive next time.” The way to respond is “You’re darn right I decried the Cultural Marxist racial double standard! What kind of conservative would I be if I didn’t? Do you defend it?”
My hunch is that Jack doesn’t believe his own crap here, and is just throwing himself on the mercy of the PC rightthink guardians. While he may believe that more care when discussing racial issues is prudent, in the same way he now embraces more pragmatic politics, I don’t think he really accepts that conservatives should abide by PC strictures with regard to language and policy lest they be guilty of wrongthink. Likewise I don’t think he really believes that defense of the South, secession, states rights etc. automatically means one is guilty of thoughtcrime. He’s too smart for that and too much a product of the roots that gave rise to the Southern Avenger.
So I am disappointed that Jack has chosen this route. I wish he had chosen the honorable route that Jason Richwine chose which was to vigorously defend himself because he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. If Jack wants to remain a libertarian and a politcal pragmatist, I’m fine with that. I think that transformation is genuine. But accepting the framing of left-wing PC obsessives and neocon hit men is not OK. Hopefully Jack’s conscience and pride (the good kind) will set him back on the right path and one day he’ll write a mea culpa for his mea culpa. Maybe Jason Richwine can give him a call.